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Online fashion retailer Zozotown develops foot-scanning tech for perfect-fitting shoes

By SoraNews24

Last week, Yusaku Mawzawa, founder of the hugely successful Japanese online clothing retail website Zozotown, took to Twitter to announce a new service called the Zozomat.

“Introducing the Zozomat. Feet can be measured in 3D with a smartphone. Pre-orders start today and of course it’s free. Make your reservation on the website.”

That was a little cut and dry for the billionaire known for grandiose stunts like buying a ticket to the moon and giving away free money over Twitter. Sure enough, he followed up a minute later with a more dramatic explanation.

“The domestic market for shoes is 1.4 trillion yen, and the annual consumption of shoes per year is said to be five shoes per person. For example, if everyone bought just one of their five pairs of shoes from Zozotown, that would put us in the neighborhood of 280 billion yen. We currently sell about 36 billion yen in Zozotown shoes. Zozomat will usher us into an age where anyone can buy shoes online!”

Zozomat is quite simple in its design. Users simply put their foot on the center of the mat and take photos of it at various angles with their smartphone. A dedicated app then uses the spots on the mat as reference points to map out a 3D model of your foot, with highly accurate sizes in all dimensions. The app will then direct you to the sizes of shoes available at Zozotown that will best fit your unique shape of foot.

Comments from Zozotown customers and the uninitiated were both very intrigued.

“This is amazing, and especially good for kids whose feet grow so fast.”

“What an innovative company.”

“I’m glad because I love shoes.”

“Shoes are always more problematic to order than clothes, so this is good.”

“I wonder if they can detect high insteps or bunions.”

“And shipping is free!”

“Tailor-made shoes used to be a thing for high-paid businessmen but now anyone can do it.”

“Yes, but the Zozosuit seemed amazing when it was first announced too…”

As the last comment pointed out, this is eerily reminiscent of an announcement made by Maezawa back in late 2017 for a garment that could automatically measure one’s entire body called the Zozosuit.

Originally billed as something like Tony Stark’s underwear that could size you with a push of a button, the Zozosuit was plagued by delays and then altered to look like Dumbledore’s PJs that could size you after you hobble around in a circle for three minutes.

Despite having enormous potential it ended up an over-hyped flop and one that cost Zozotown on the bottom line by the end of fiscal 2018. Maezawa wrote:

“One miscalculation was the Zozosuit. It got a lot of buzz and many people ordered it, but because of difficulty to put on and measure, it was used by fewer people than expected. Going forward, by making Zozosuit easier to use and developing a better body shape prediction system we will continue to provide clothes that are perfect for everyone.”

The Zozomat appears to have learnt from the mistakes of the Zozosuit. The design is much more practical and cost-effective to start with, and a reasonable delivery schedule of this winter should keep expectations much more grounded in reality. This time the delivery fee is waived too, which is a wise move since we all know Zozotown stands to profit quite a bit from the directed sales as well as valuable big data regarding size stats.

It’a good to see a company and its leader learn from their mistakes and use it as an opportunity for growth.

Sources: Zozotown, CNET Japan, My Game News Flash, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- These amazing Furoshiki Shoes from Vibram are designed to literally wrap around your feet!

-- Evangelion loafers – Never worry about tying your shoes or failing to make an impression

-- Japanese chocolatier astounds with super realistic life-sized men’s shoe collection

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I hope their business model accounts for old gits like me who'll get one out of curiosity but definitely won't buy any shoes off them.

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Greatest invention ever, I have the hardest time finding shoes in this country since not only is my size big but also very wide, so if this thing is accurate then I'll be very interested. I used the Zozosuit to get custom clothing and it worked perfectly.

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Invents ??? Make me laugh.  Since decades sports shops and specialty shoe shops have these machines to scan your feet.  Only way to make sure the shoes you order are a good fit for you is , to go try the model in a brick and mortar store or to order the same model you already have. 

And unless they make the shoes to measure, it is only a gadget, nothing more.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

its not the measurements but getting the shoes that match those measurements.

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I was shocked when i went to buy shoes in HK and Japan, young staff girl tried to put shoe on my leg, i stopped her and told her i will do wear it myself. Customer Service too kind there unlike in UK but such kind service also annoying.

And better invent lifelong Anti bacterial feet fungus shoes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn’t the founders name Maezawa? “Hugely successful”? Oh, sorry, it’s a Sora News article.

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